Monday, May 15, 2006

Everybody Loves the Cubs!

I went to my first Cubs game yesterday - on Mother's Day - two weeks ahead of schedule.

I was never really a huge baseball fan. Of course I always hoped Chicago's teams would win, like every Illinoisian should. When choosing between the Cubs and the Sox, I'd go Cubs. I'm not street enough to be a Sox fan, I guess. Then in 2003, I spent a lot of nights alone in monitoring an empty computer lab in the basement of CVA. The Cubs happened to be doing well, so I monitored the games on the web while I waited for midnight to come so I could close up my lab. Since then I've been "a Cubs fan," not just by birth and territorial rights, but by pathetic devotion like so many others. Last year - my Year o' Wandering - I had a lot of free time on my hands. I don't think I missed more than 20 games, which is really sad considering there's like 180 games in the season or something absurd like that.

Mike and I planned to celebrate our joint birthday at a Cubs game in two weeks against the Braves, but then last week the opportunity arose for us to buy tickets off of one of Mike's co-workers. He jumped at the chance, seeing as he has become just as obsessed with getting Cubs tickets as I am with buying American Girl stuff. Two very expensive impulse buys that plague our small family.

Our adventure into Wrigleyville was stressful at times, but fun nonetheless. We got to the park all right mostly thanks to Mike's friend. She picked us up from the train station (which was the wrong one, all the other Cubs fans got off the station before we did - a good five or so minutes away), drove us to her apartment, and then pointed us in the right direction - Wrigley was on two right turns and "a mile away". Well…two right turns and about 3 miles away, we finally made it, all sweaty and hot (we were dressed for the cold, rainy weather that partly stayed away).

It was a cool environment, Wrigley Field. It is a lot smaller than it looks on tv, but then again not. We froze our butts off in our high, shaded seats with the wind blowing into us. We ate ball park hotdogs, fries and hot pretzels, as well as a hot chocolate, my wonderful husband surprised me with. I got the give-a-way gift - a Limited Edition Cubs Precious Moments figure - not exactly an American Girl Cubs uniform or Cubs PEZ dispenser, but neat none-the-less. I got to see my favorite player, catcher Michael Barrett, play (though Mike says he let 2 runs in because he couldn't catch a pitch - I say the rookie pitcher had a wild arm). And Eddie Veder (of Pearl Jam fame) threw out the first pitch and sang 'Take Me Out to the Ball Game."

Eddie Veder
Michael Barrett

I'm slightly surprised at how good a time I had. I can't wait to go again in two weeks. And to the other two games we have tickets to throughout the rest of the season.

Our trip home was quite an adventure. I really hope we can figure out a better way to get home next time because trying to walk to the "wrong" station was not cool. Thankfully Mike hailed us a cab or we never would have made it in time for our train. And then we would have had to wait around for two hours on a platform.

Oh yeah, and the Cubs lost…
of course! They got creamed actually.

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